This Sunday marks the traditional beginning of the top flight of English football when Portsmouth battles Manchester United in the Community Shield Final at Wembley Stadium in London. If you’re like me, you’re excited about seeing the return of English football after being without it since the end of May.
But the biggest story in the press in the buildup to this Sunday’s match is not anything to do with United or Pompey. It’s referee Mark Clattenburg who has been dropped from the match in favor of Peter Walton.
Clattenburg has been suspended because the electrical company that he owns has gone bankrupt and owes debts of £60,000.
Not only will Clattenburg miss the Community Shield Final, but he’s also expected to miss being in charge on the pitch for the first few weeks of the Premier League season until the issue has been resolved.
Clattenburg will also not officiate in any other games until the issue has been resolved.
With Clattenburg having such large debts, the Professional Game Match Officials feel it’s not appropriate for the referee to be in charge of matches especially when there would be temptations for refs who are facing financial difficulties. I believe the FA and Professional Game Match Officials are making the correct decision.
Let’s hope that Sunday’s final is remembered for something special on the pitch rather than the issues off the pitch.